Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferazzi Greenlight, a research-based consulting and training company, suggests practicing "caring criticism," as he recently explained it in the Harvard Business Review.
"Negative feedback can hurt, but usually it's a gift aimed at helping the recipient improve performance or avoid mistakes. We should deliver and receive it that way," says Ferrazzi.
"Use phrases like 'I might suggest' and 'Think about this'" when giving feedback.
And, then Kerrazzi suggests when receiving candid feedback, that you thank the person who offered it and make clear the points on which you agree. He's found that if you think of the person giving you honest feedback as generous, rather than critical, you become less defensive and more open to changing your behavior.